Magnolia Map: ERI Ride Activity
View the map at bit.ly/MagnoliaMapHamOnt
April 15, 2020
Every spring is marked by the burst of magnolia blossoms throughout Hamilton, and this year the flowers are blooming with the global pandemic as their backdrop. In this uncertain time of change and discomfort, the delicate tepals*** of the magnolia are a fleeting but welcome distraction.
Hunting for magnolia trees and other plant life is a great way to explore your neighborhood and city, get fresh air, exercise, and connect with nature. We have made this easier than ever by mapping out 37 magnolia trees in our bike share service area.
We recommend you use our map to walk or roll to nearby trees in your neighborhood. This is an activity you could integrate into a necessary trip you were already planning (for example, a detour on the way to a grocery store, food bank, or other essential trip) or you could make it an outing to just get your body moving. Along the way you may also see blooms like forsythia (bushes with bright yellow flowers), daffodils, and other colourful signs of spring and renewal. As you become more familiar with your neighborhood magnolias, you may notice that the “star” magnolia trees with white flowers tend to bloom earlier than their pink-hued counterparts.
Remember to participate in this activity safely, to protect yourself and others. If you are sick, stay home and follow the map next year. Adhere to physical distancing measures whenever you are out and about. This means staying at least 2 meters away from other people. Try seeking out quieter streets and alleys if you are walking, as it may be more feasible to move into the street and put more distance between you and other passersby. You should also wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when you leave your home and when you return, and avoid touching your face. You can read more information about how to keep yourself and others safe here.
If you are riding a SoBi to the magnolias, please bring along wipes for the touch surfaces (grips, keypad), use hand sanitizer if you have it, and follow the other protocols we listed in the last paragraph (hand washing and distancing). You can find out more about what SoBi Hamilton is doing during the COVID-19 pandemic here.
The map is not exhaustive, so if you see any missing magnolias, tag the Everyone Rides Initiative on social media (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) with the location and a picture and we will add it to the map! For example, there are many streets in Strathcona, the North End, West Hamilton, and Dundas that we didn’t get to during our initial hunt. This started as a one-person list, and we’d love to see it grow into a collaborative community resource.
Happy magnolia hunting, and stay safe out there. We look forward to riding with you in the future!
Chelsea Cox, ERI Executive Director
***Nerd out on all things magnolia on the Wikipedia page and learn about tepals vs petals.
Additional Resources related to street trees:
- Access to green space is an equity issue: how race and class relate to unequal access to parks and green space
- How to get a FREE street tree where you live: The City of Hamilton Street Tree Planting Program
- Video: The importance of trees as air filters
- More trees, happier people: the effect of green space on mental health
- More on why street trees are so important: The Magic of Tree-Lined Streets
- How to grow your own Magnolia tree! Courtesy of Jen from Happy DIY Home